CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Time Out Youth Center, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte Office of Identity, Equity, and Engagement and Equality North Carolina will hold the sixth annual Carolina Conference on Queer Youth on Oct. 19 at the university’s Student Union from 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
The theme for this year’s event is “Equity in Practice: Supporting Trans and Queer Youth of Color.” Participants will include students, PreK-12 educators and support staff, helping professionals and community members from across the Carolinas to discuss topics supporting LGBTQ youth in the region.
The one-day conference is an opportunity for area representatives to network, dialogue and organize around issues important to the healthy development of LGBTQ youth in K-12 education, organizers said.
Youth and students can attend the conference free of charge. However, educators, family members, working professionals and all adults will be assessed $25. Registration for all attendees is available online through Oct. 17 at timeoutyouth.org/CCQY or onsite on the day of the conference from 7:30-8 a.m. Space is limited.
Additionally, CEUs are available for professionals and can be requested on the registration form. A light breakfast and lunch will be provided for all attendees. Parking is available in the Student Union parking deck for $15/day.
In other news, Time Out Youth’s Q Chat Space pilot program is doing well, organizers said. The initiative provides a venue for North Carolina youth to connect via an online chat room. Its facilitator and center programs assistant, Haeley, shared, “I started facilitating Q Chat Space discussion groups to allow LGBTQ+ youth to make connections and build a safe space online with other youth. I already see so much community and belonging forming with the youth in our group. I am absolutely honored to be a part of this program and cannot wait to see what the future holds for online discussion groups for the LGBTQ+ community.”
Participants have said that having this option helps them feel less lonely, feel “love radiating from my computer screen” and give participants a way to connect and discuss issues pertinent to them.
Q Chat Space has the need for volunteers in several roles. Q Chat is recruiting for Youth Advisory Panel participants who are 13-19. Deadline is Oct. 8. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.